ESTJs are hardworking traditionalists, eager to take charge in organizing projects and people. Orderly, rule-abiding, and conscientious, ESTJs like to get things done, and tend to go about projects in a systematic, methodical way.

ESTJs are the consummate organizers, and want to bring structure to their surroundings. They value predictability and prefer things to proceed in a logical order. When they see a lack of organization, the ESTJ often takes the initiative to establish processes and guidelines, so that everyone knows what's expected.

ESTJ in the Population

ESTJ is the fifth most common type in the population, and the second most common among men. ESTJs make up:

  • 9% of the general population
  • 11% of men
  • 6% of women

Famous ESTJs

Famous ESTJs include Colin Powell, Judge Judy Sheindlin, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, George Washington, Sandra Day O’Connor, Mike Wallace, and Vince Lombardi.

Motivating the ESTJ

ESTJs are conventional, factual, and grounded in reality. For the ESTJ, the proof is in the past: what has worked and what has been done before. They value evidence over conjecture, and trust their personal experience. ESTJs look for rules to follow and standards to meet, and often take a leadership role in helping other people meet expectations as well. They concern themselves with maintaining the social order and keeping others in line.

ESTJs often take on a project manager role at home as well as at work, and excel at setting goals, making decisions, and organizing resources to accomplish a task. The ESTJ wants to achieve efficient productivity and typically believes this is best accomplished when people and systems are well organized.

Recognizing the ESTJ

ESTJs command a situation, with the sense that they know how things should go and are ready to take charge to make sure that it happens. They are task-oriented and put work before play. Confident and tough-minded, the ESTJ appears almost always to be in control. ESTJs appreciate structure and often begin to organize as soon as they enter a room. They want to establish the ground rules and make sure everyone does what they’re supposed to.

ESTJs are often involved in institutions: clubs, associations, societies, and churches, where they usually take a leadership role. They typically connect with others through sharing ritual and routine. Social interaction for ESTJs often means following an established tradition to engage with others in a structured way. ESTJs tend to respect and seek out hierarchy. They want to know who’s in charge, and will assign levels of responsibility if none exist. Once a structure is in place, ESTJs typically trust authority figures and expect obedience from people of lower rank.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ESTJ at Work

At work, the ESTJ excels at organizing—people, projects, and operations. ESTJs like to be in control and often seek out management positions, preferring to be in a role where they can make decisions and enforce policies and procedures.

ESTJs quickly develop a reputation in the workplace as people who can be trusted to deliver, on time and as requested. They are unfailingly reliable and gain satisfaction from bringing a project to completion. Because of their eagerness to take on responsibility, they sometimes become overworked.

The ideal work environment for an ESTJ is highly structured, with a clear set of expectations and an organized authority structure. The ideal job for an ESTJ allows them to use their organizational skills within a set of standardized procedures to efficiently produce a tangible product.

ESTJ on a Team

ESTJs are take-charge types who bring order and industrious energy to a team, focusing on opportunities to implement structure and take decisive action. ESTJs don’t mince words, sharing their objective evaluation of the situation directly and honestly. They are hard workers, productive and oriented to results, and expect others to fall in step with their methodic determination.

ESTJs are very task focused and may become impatient with colleagues who want to discuss things for too long before deciding on action steps, especially if the discussion is overly abstract or theoretical. They will tend to try to take the lead in making a decision and moving on with a concrete plan of action. ESTJs are consummate planners with respect for schedules and deadlines, and are reluctant to stray from the plan. They want to know the established procedure, and may be annoyed by team members who don’t follow the rules.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

ESTJ as Leaders

In leadership positions, ESTJs make sure that things are done correctly, results are reliably produced, and standards are met. They make expectations clear to their teams, not only what needs to be done but how and when to do it. When managing a project, they are typically methodical and detailed in their plans, and make sure that the end product is delivered exactly as expected.

ESTJs tend to uphold the traditional way of doing things and may not recognize the need for innovation. They tend to trust their past experience, and may not be comfortable leading into an uncertain future. Vision can be a challenge for ESTJ leaders, who are often better at implementing changes than conceiving of them.

ESTJs trust the structures of authority, and typically seek to establish a clear hierarchy. They are comfortable with taking orders from superiors and expect their reports to respect their authority in turn. They are typically decisive and may show little flexibility after they have arrived at a conclusion.